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廟街十三妹 (1993)
Angel of Vengeance

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 06/30/2014
Summary: Bad and ugly

This film is bad and ugly. There is no good. Avoid.

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 02/04/2007

“Angel of Vengeance” is a disgusting train wreck of a movie. It would get a rating in the negative numbers if that were possible. It lurches from an action movie to a romantic drama with a few goofy characters to a melodrama to super-sleazy violence against women. It is lip-smackingly voyeuristic—in at least two instances we watch as Betty and Wang watch a young woman being sexually assaulted—the second time they decide not intervene or even call the police because Betty hasn’t finished her thesis on prostitution. So on one level the audience is invited to be complicit with both the filmmaker and the weak characters by deciding to watch long explicit scenes in which women are beaten and raped. Even Oshima Yukari dispatching bad guys with her astonishing kicks and grim looks can’t save this one.

It opens with a good action scene—a fight to the death in an alley between two rival triad leaders and their gangs. Things are off to an excellent start—one gangster (the “honorable” one) has a brilliant surprise tactic which is trumped by a sudden change of sides by his second in command who is almost immediately paid back. This scene ends with a startling act of self-sacrifice, evil triumphs but at the cost of the eternal enmity of the pre-adolescent Lori. This sets to basis for another good set of scenes which showcase Yukari’s skill, fitness and presence. Other than few more set pieces of Yukari stacking up evildoers the rest of “Angel of Vengeance” is almost unspeakably bad. The movie finishes with a poorly thought out and badly choreographed set of action scenes that not even Yukari can save and features a bad guy who has shown almost no martial arts inclination changing into a cross between Eunuch Tsao from “Dragon Inn” and The Bride with White Hair. Very weird and sloppy but not that shocking—Lau Chung-Pak both wrote and directed and showed himself to be unskilled in both aspects of movie making.

The actress who plays Betty has some of the cloying cuteness of a young Audrey Tautou from her “Venus Beauty Institute” days but little of the screen presence and talent that characterizes the French performer. The actor who portrayed Wang, Betty’s boyfriend, should probably consider another line of work. Neither artist can really be judged based on this movie alone though—the finest actors in the world couldn’t have breathed life into them.

Old pros Wong Ching-Lam and Cho Boon-Feng were called on, respectively, to sneer and grunt and both did so. Chung Faat was appropriately over the top as the most villainous of all the villains and Alex Fong Chung-Sun had a throwaway role as Yukari’s sidekick.

The first and most salaciously extended rape occurs about thirty-two minutes into the movie. From that point on I kept the cursor close to the fast forward button. Generally having Oshima Yukari in the credits is enough reason for me to seek out even a bad movie but this one is not recommended for anyone.

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: calros
Date: 01/07/2006
Summary: Silly drama about white slavery.

This movie follows 2 stories which finally meet.

The first story is about a girl who is about to end her thesis about prostitution (her mother is the madame of a poor brothel) and wants to experience the life of a prostitute in order to search a new point of view for her thesis. Siiiiiiiiiiiiilly drama.

The second story is about the adventures of Yukari, who plays the daughter of a deceased triad boss, whose sister has been kidnapped by another triad boss in order to become her in a prostitute. Yukari and her friends Alex Fong and Alexander Lo Rei fight against the dozens of bodyguards of the triad boss in a series of fair enough, but short, fights. This second story is very silly, too, but at least it has fights. Unluckily they are wasted, I expected more of the fight against the blind woman and the triad boss.

Reviewer Score: 6